The It-Girl Guide to Vintage shopping

Costume drama.

[I]t’s been a big year for merch junkies: surf culture, rock ‘n’ roll tour tees and 80s/90s flea market chic is now ‘new again’, on and off the catwalk. But as anyone whose spent a good half a day trawling through racks of clothes in Beyond Retro will know, hunting for pre-loved goods can sometimes feel like being stuck in a pink crimplene dress draught.

Stylist and photographer Natalie profiles “real-deal connoisseurs” who buy, collect, wear and love vintage from all walks of life in her new book Tales of Endearment (a companion to the popular style website she launched in 2010).

The thrifty publication features portraits of 58 fashion insiders including musician and model Staz Lindes to artist Zoë Bleu Sidel wearing their favourite retro piece; from 1970s tees to Edwardian morning jackets, mod suede skirts to one-of-a-kind accessories. Below, Joos shares with Hunger exclusively a loving guide to shopping vintage, her go-to haunt in Los Angeles and the importance of keeping an open mind…


Zoë Bleu Sidel

Don’t expect to find what you’re looking for

“And never look for anything you expect to wear right away. Buy pieces to have, not just to wear.”

Dress the part

“The ideal outfit to wear when you go vintage/thrift store shopping: a skirt and a bra and a top. no need to ever get into a dressing room.”

Full-on vintage is (almost) always too extra

“Never head to toe. Always get contemporary shoes to elevate the look to today. That’s not to say I don’t like dressing like a 50s girl, head scarf and all. Sometimes, when it’s intentional the effect is great.”

Be patient

“If I’m looking online I just enter “vintage dress XS” in Etsy and Ebay, I look and look and maybe buy. Currently my favourite vintage stores ever are C Madeleine’s in Miami, Cannonball & Tilly in LA and Amarcord in New York City.”

Forget trends

“I always have stuff in my closet that works well for the trends going on. I just buy stuff I love, regardless of trends. And then one day, maybe years later, it’s suddenly the biggest hit!”

‘Tales of Endearment: Modern Vintage Lovers and Their Extraordinary Wardrobes’ by Natalie Joos, published by powerHouse Books is available to buy here.